Tag Archives: assaying

Chrysos PhotonAssay lab up and running at Barrick’s Bulyanhulu

Barrick Gold, in partnership with MSALABS Ltd, has successfully installed a Chrysos PhotonAssay™ laboratory at its Bulyanhulu mine in Tanzania – the first in Africa and in its global operations.

This new technique, Chrysos says, delivers faster, safer and more accurate analysis of gold, silver and complementary elements by non-destructive measurement of larger and more representative samples in as little as two minutes, enabling rapid turnaround of critical operational information that drives optimisation throughout the mining value chain.

The system, originally developed at Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, provides an environmentally friendly, chemical-free, more sustainable replacement for traditional fire assay methods, significantly reducing CO2 emissions and hazardous waste, according to Barrick.

Introducing the new system to media at the mine, Barrick President and Chief Executive Mark Bristow said it was part of the group’s continuing drive to harness technological innovation in the service of operational excellence, occupational safety and environmental care.

Bulyanhulu is in northwest Tanzania and is a narrow-vein gold mine containing gold, silver and copper mineralisation in sulphides.

The unit, which is also the company’s first deployment directly to a mine site, is part of a collaboration with MSALABS, a subsidiary of Capital Ltd, which will see at least seven Chrysos PhotonAssay units installed across the globe over the next 18 months, Chrysos says.

Dirk Treasure, Chrysos Corporation Chief Executive, said: “We are confident that PhotonAssay’s faster, safer and environmentally-friendly process not only aligns with Barrick’s focus on operational excellence through technology adoption, but also reflects and enhances its global reputation as a leader in sustainable mining and exploration.”

He added: “Our ambitious plan is to deploy 80 PhotonAssay units over the next five years. At that point, with each unit capable of processing up to 480,000 samples per annum, we will be helping our customers reduce CO2 emissions by an estimated 18,000 t and decrease hazardous waste by approximately 12,000 t every year.”

The company anticipates further acceleration of demand over the coming years in a worldwide market with room for approximately 350 units.

Chrysos Corp raises A$50 million to fund PhotonAssay tech expansion drive

Australia-based Chrysos Corporation has successfully completed an equity placement, raising A$50 million ($37 million) of funds to, it says, meet accelerating demand for its PhotonAssay™ technology from miners, explorers and laboratories across the globe.

The technology is billed as being able to displace slower, more hazardous and toxic assay processes. It delivers faster, safer, more accurate and environmentally friendly analysis of gold, silver and complementary elements in as little as two minutes, according to the company.

Dirk Treasure, Chrysos Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are delighted with the support we’ve received from investors as we enter this exciting phase of our expansion strategy. Through effective planning and execution, we have built a long runway of sustainable growth and are well positioned to realise PhotonAssay’s immense potential in this attractive and progressive market.”

Chrysos says it has entered a transformative stage with the PhotonAssay technology already deployed and in-use with industry leaders, including the world’s third largest laboratory group, Intertek, geochemical laboratory services provider, MSALABS, and top-tier miners including Barrick and Kirkland Lake Gold.

The company maintains a strong sales pipeline and has contracts secured for a further nine units, which represents 150% growth on its current deployments and locking in its manufacturing capacity for the next 12 months, it said. This will bring the total number of deployed and committed PhotonAssay units to 15.

Chrysos anticipates accelerating demand over the coming years in a worldwide market with room for approximately 350 units.

Treasure added: “Our ambitious plan is to deploy 80 PhotonAssay units over the next five years. At that point, with each unit capable of processing up to 480,000 samples per annum, we will be helping our customers reduce CO2 emissions by an estimated 18,000 t and decrease hazardous waste by approximately 12,000 t every year.”

PhotonAssay units are leased to mines and analytical laboratories under long-term renewable contracts, with customers paying per sample processed. As a non-discretionary element of the mining value chain, the technology offers an attractive operating expenditure model for customers and delivers a high margin, long-life annuity revenue stream back to Chrysos.

Chrysos’ PhotonAssay technology was originally conceived at Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, which remains a significant shareholder.

PhotonAssay tech set for Western Africa debut with MSALABS agreement at Morila

Chrysos’ PhotonAssay technology is set to make a debut in the Western Africa market after Capital Ltd’s MSALABS signed a provisional five-year agreement with Societe Des Mines De Morila SA at the Morila gold mine in Mali.

The mine, which has an existing drilling contract with Capital Ltd, is 80%-owned by Firefinch. The ASX-listed company acquired the mine in November 2020 with the view to increase production at the 4.5 Mt/y mill from a current annual production profile of 40,000 oz/y of gold from tailings treatment, towards a target of 70,000-90,000 oz/y of gold through mining of small open pits, stocks and tailings from mid-2021. In 2022, Firefinch plans to increase production to 150,000-200,000 oz/y by re-commencing mining from the main Morila pit.

The contract, which remains subject to final terms and conditions, could see the first PhotonAssay arrive on site before the end of the year. This would be the first Chrysos unit to be deployed in Western Africa, according to Capital.

This news came out in the release of the company’s interim results, which outlined a 51.6% year-on-year boost in revenue to $98.7 million and a 238.6% boost in adjusted profit to $12.7 million.

MSALABS also has a PhotonAssay contract in place with Barrick Gold at the Bulyanhulu mine in Tanzania, which could see the deployment of at least six PhotonAssay units.

Capital said the initial Chrysos unit had arrived in Tanzania and was in transit to the Bulyanhulu laboratory, with commissioning anticipated imminently, with the Chrysos team now on site.

An additional Chrysos unit secured for Canada was scheduled for arrival in Val d’Or, Quebec, in the December quarter, representing an expansion of MSALABS’ presence in the country and entry into the prolific Abitibi Belt. Capital Ltd said offtake discussions are well advanced for the unit’s capacity.

Capital Ltd Executive Chairman, Jamie Boyton, said of the Photon Assay tech: “Chrysos has the potential to disrupt the geochemical analysis sector and we are encouraged by the demand we see as we prepare to roll out the second unit in Val d’Or in Quebec, Canada, in the December quarter of this year, and the third at Morila in Mali soon thereafter.”

Driven in part by increasing industry focus on safety, sustainability and sample turnaround time, Chrysos PhotonAssay is competing with the centuries-old fire assay process in the gold assaying market. Chrysos says the technology, which originated out of a CSIRO project, is fast taking over fire assay to be the preferred technology of miners and laboratories seeking a solution to the supply chain and environmental challenges created by traditional gold assaying methods.

Hitting samples with high-energy X-rays, PhotonAssay causes excitation of atomic nuclei allowing enhanced analysis of gold, silver and complementary elements in as little as two minutes, Chrysos claims. Importantly, the non-destructive process allows large samples of up to 500 g to be measured and provides a “true” bulk reading independent of the chemical or physical form of the sample.

SGS expands Spijkenisse facility on rising metals and minerals testing demand

SGS metals and minerals trade commodities group has started expanding its lab facilities in Spijkenisse, Rotterdam, following a rising demand for testing services.

The company began the construction of its new, state-of-the-art laboratory in April.

This expansion, which is expected to be completed by December 2021, will double the capacity and improve turnaround times of the company’s current operations.

SGS’ laboratory in Spijkenisse, located near the port of Rotterdam, already offers a broad range of testing services for the metals and minerals industry. It performs analyses on non-ferrous and ferrous products such as ores, industrial minerals, concentrates, intermediate products and high-purity metals. Services include, among others, sample preparation, TML/FMP, wet chemistry analysis, XRF, ICP OES, AAS, electrogravimetry and fire assay.

Frans van Croonenborg, SGS Business Manager Natural Resources, Minerals Commodities, Benelux and Germany, said: “By continuing to invest in the laboratory’s facilities, we are committing to increase our operational excellence – provide our customers with fast and wide-ranging testing services. Our employees are excited about the new facility and SGS’s continued commitment to offer the latest technologies to the global industry.”

Chrysos Corp completes PhotonAssay hat-trick at MinAnalytical Lab

Following on from the successful commissioning of its second PhotonAssay Max system earlier this year, Chrysos Corp says it has now completed commissioning of a third PhotonAssay Max system at the MinAnalytical laboratory in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia.

The Chrysos PhotonAssay solution provides rapid, accurate, safe and non-destructive ore grade analysis and, with the installation of this new system, MinAnalytical’s Kalgoorlie facility now has the security of double-redundancy and the capacity to service customers with fast turnaround on up to 100,000 samples per month, Chrysos said.

The technology, which was developed by CSIRO, slashes the time it takes to analyse a drilling sample from days to hours, according to Chrysos, and is an alternative to the traditional fire assay process. It represents a chemical-free approach to material analysis that gives accurate results in minutes and uses a larger sample size than fire assay, with reduced sample preparation.
A further benefit is that the new process enables the sample to be tested repeatedly if required – unlike fire assay, which involves the destruction of the sample, the company says.

Arriving in Kalgoorlie in late October, the new PhotonAssay Max was installed by Chrysos and its manufacturing partner, Nuctech, and completed site acceptance testing in mid-November, with final sign-off occurring earlier this month.

“With NATA (National Association of Testing Authorities) accreditation of the new system expected in 2020, and a fully-automated sample preparation solution from Scott Automation incorporated by May, MinAnalytical’s Kalgoorlie laboratory represents the cutting edge of gold analysis and reporting,” the company said.

Chrysos was formed in 2016 in partnership between CSIRO and RFC Ambrian for the purpose of commercialising the PhotonAssay technology. Ausdrill has invested in Chrysos and is assisting in commercialising the company’s technology. Ausdrill, through its subsidiary MinAnalytical, was the first company in the world to offer the technology to mining companies.

CSIRO and Gekko’s OLGA receiving good reception at Queensland gold mine

Field trials for the CSIRO-developed Online Gold Analyser (OLGA) are showing such positive results at a Queensland gold mine that the technology is expected to be ready for market this year, the research organisation reported recently.

OLGA is an X-ray fluorescence-based technology capable of detecting gold in slurry with around 1,000-times better accuracy than conventional methods – and in real time, according to CSIRO.#

The analyser, which will be available through technology and services company Gekko Systems, detects gold (and other elements) contained in a continuous process stream.

OLGA can detect gold in slurries at 10 parts per billion using a pair of X-ray lenses that greatly magnify the slurry’s fluorescent gold signal as it passes through a tank.

“Normally you take samples from a stream and send that sample to a laboratory,” CSIRO Research Group Leader, Yves Van Haarlem, said. “If you’re lucky the lab is onsite, but even then the turnaround time for analysis can be 10 to 12 hours. That’s probably too late to do something about it. With OLGA you can act on what you’re seeing almost immediately.”

Conventional X-ray Fluorescence is already a well-known tool in the base metals industry for the monitoring and control of concentration plants, but they tend to have less accurate detection limits – usually in the tens to hundreds of parts-per-million (ppm) range, precluding their use in precious metal concentrators, according to CSIRO.

Richard Goldberg, Gekko’s Head of Innovation and Collaboration, said that other means of detecting gold have been lacking in accuracy and/or the timely availability of results. “We’ve never had the ability to directly monitor gold flows through a plant in real time before,” Dr Goldberg said. “We know that gold grade can vary over relatively short periods and that it will do so between the samples taken as part of traditional process control regimes. As the results from those samples are also delayed, they are unlikely to accurately reflect the changes occurring in the process stream.”

Dr Goldberg said OLGA’s value stems from its ability to provide important information in near real time. In effect, the operators of a plant will no longer be blind to changes in its performance, according to CSIRO.

Andrew Dixon, Gekko’s Performance Consultant Manager, said the new system is proving its triple bottom line credentials. Economically OLGA allows the processing plant to be controlled to allow maximum efficiency of gold recovery, he said.

“This has environmental benefits as well. It will allow you to optimise reagent additions and to reduce any emissions from the plant that may have to be detoxified or treated to be made safe,” he said.

This means a plant will end up with less reagent chemicals in the tailings.

“It’s also more sustainable – the efficiency improvements will have an effect on the stability of the operation,” Dixon said. “A more stable gold processing operation is always going to be more efficient.”

Dr Goldberg said the reaction from gold mining companies that have seen OLGA work in laboratory conditions has been extremely positive and have seen considerable interest in the technology.

“We’re currently conducting field trials to ensure it’s a solid product before we fully release it to the market. To date, the trials have been extremely positive,” he said.

Dr Van Haarlem said Gekko has been the ideal partner for CSIRO on this technology. “Gekko engineered the whole structure around the analyser so that the slurry can be easily analysed, validation samples can easily be taken, and to provide the robustness required for plant installation,” he said.

OLGA is not just about detecting gold concentration. It’s about providing information, according to CSIRO.

“You could, for instance, put OLGA on the feed stream and one on the tailings,” Dr Van Haarlem said. “You could then look at what went in and what went out. If there’s too much gold in the tailings compared to the feed then the plant knows immediately that it’s losing gold. All this can then be acted upon.”

Dr Goldberg said there has been interest from potential buyers from as far away as Africa, Europe and South America. A fully supported product should be available for these regions later this year, CSIRO said.

Dr Van Haarlem said the X-ray optic system is now being tested on platinum and can be used for other metals. Its application could be much more widespread, such as for detecting toxic elements in food and water.

Yet, he believes OLGA’s future rests in its potential to revolutionise gold processing plant strategies and to refine logistics.

“It will provide a lot of data on real time gold and slurry density, which can then be correlated with other plant parameters,” he said. “It might turn out that if you don’t mill the ore sufficiently, gold recovery suffers. It’s going to show us correlations we didn’t even know were happening. This information can help us to optimise the entire production circuit.”

Boart Longyear’s TruScan receives plaudits at South Australia awards ceremony

Boart Longyear says its onsite core and chip scanning technology, TruScan™, recently received the Premier’s Award in the Mining Equipment, Technology, and Services sector for Excellence in Innovation: Productivity Improvement at a ceremony in Adelaide, Australia.

The awards, presented during the Premier’s Awards ceremony on November 30, are organised by the Government of South Australia’s Department for Energy and Mining, and recognise areas of excellence by leading resources and energy sector companies and organisations in the areas of diversity, working with communities, and innovation, Boart says.

Peter Kanck, Senior Manager of Technology Development & Integration, who accepted the award on behalf of Boart Longyear, said: “It’s an honour to be part of this exciting technology and to see TruScan recognised for the positive impact it is making on the mining community.”

TruScan is able to scan and photograph a full tray of core and provide geochemical data within 25 minutes of the core being brought out of the ground, Boart says. Normally, analysis involves collecting core on pallets, transporting it to the laboratory, and then the laboratory schedules the core for analysis. Once core analysis is complete, the results are returned back to the geologist, which can take days to months.

“Because TruScan delivers geological data results onsite the same day, the turnaround is dramatically shortened and substantial cost savings are realised for both exploration and mining companies,” Boart says.

TruScan is already being used in exploration activities in Australia and Canada with plans to roll out in other parts of the world.

Boart offers TruScan as an independent service to mining clients or the technology can be bundled as a part of a drilling services agreement.

SGS sets up shop in Quebec’s golden district

SGS has opened up a new sample preparation facility in Val-d’Or, Quebec, seeking to serve the growing needs of minerals exploration companies in the province.

This is the second Canada office opening for the company in a month having set up a sample prep lab in Whitehorse, Yukon, earlier in July.

The facility is equipped to provide drying, grinding, crushing, pulverising and soil screening capabilities. Sample preparation can be completed on RC chips, and core, rock, trend and soil samples.

Val d’Or, French for ‘valley of gold’, has a vibrant gold mining history. It is part of the Abitibi Greenstone Belt, which has produced more than 170 million ounces of the yellow metal since 1901.

The new Val-d’Or laboratory is SGS’ seventh in Canada, with four in Ontario, one in British Columbia and one in the Yukon.

SGS offers a wide range of services to the minerals sector including geochemical analysis, resource calculation, mineralogy, metallurgy, engineering, process design and engineering, process control, water treatment and trade services.